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Community garden helps get veggies to those who can’t afford them


On Munroe Avenue behind the Community Cupboard large raised garden beds overflow with plants.

A squash vine climbs along a fence intended to keep animals out.

It’s Wednesday morning and volunteers are picking beans and other vegetables that will be given out to people at the Community Cupboard later in the day.

The Community Cupboard Garden came about through a partnership between Public Health and Maranatha Bible Church.

Jerry and Pat Stearns from Maranatha and Kelly Cavan from Public Health wrote grants to get support during the winter and received two in the spring.

The garden is equally funded by the Pictou County United Way and the Children’s Aid Society (through the Aberdeen Foundation).

With the money they were able to get the materials for 10 raised beds, a small shed and a deer fence as well as seeds, soil and garden tools. The raised bed and the shed were built by NSCC students at the Stellarton campus for free. Volunteers plant, water and weed the garden.

Each Wednesday morning vegetables are harvested and packaged to give to clients during drop in. Some weeks food demos and taste testing is also provided.

“We’re just trying to encourage people to eat healthy vegetables,” Cavan said. “A lot of people want to eat them but maybe can’t afford them, so we’re trying to help with that.”

In addition to the support from Maranatha volunteers, employees from Nissan, New Hope Clients and the New Glasgow Girl Guides grew transplants for the garden to help save costs.

They also got a Community Health Board Wellness Grant for healthy eating at the Community Cupboard and were able to offer a four-week basic cooking program with some of the clients during the spring.

Overall, Cavan said, it’s been a positive experience. She said they’ve received a lot of good feedback from the project and are hoping to expand next year.

“A lot of people love to come by to visit,” she said. “I think it just makes people feel happy to see the garden. It’s a hopeful thing.”

Pat Stearns said the members of their church enjoyed taking part and took pride watering and weeding the beds.

She said the people who come to the cupboard were appreciative of the vegetables too.

“They’ve really enjoyed having the fresh vegetables. They don’t take long to go.”

A squash vine climbs along a fence intended to keep animals out.

It’s Wednesday morning and volunteers are picking beans and other vegetables that will be given out to people at the Community Cupboard later in the day.

The Community Cupboard Garden came about through a partnership between Public Health and Maranatha Bible Church.

Jerry and Pat Stearns from Maranatha and Kelly Cavan from Public Health wrote grants to get support during the winter and received two in the spring.

The garden is equally funded by the Pictou County United Way and the Children’s Aid Society (through the Aberdeen Foundation).

With the money they were able to get the materials for 10 raised beds, a small shed and a deer fence as well as seeds, soil and garden tools. The raised bed and the shed were built by NSCC students at the Stellarton campus for free. Volunteers plant, water and weed the garden.

Each Wednesday morning vegetables are harvested and packaged to give to clients during drop in. Some weeks food demos and taste testing is also provided.

“We’re just trying to encourage people to eat healthy vegetables,” Cavan said. “A lot of people want to eat them but maybe can’t afford them, so we’re trying to help with that.”

In addition to the support from Maranatha volunteers, employees from Nissan, New Hope Clients and the New Glasgow Girl Guides grew transplants for the garden to help save costs.

They also got a Community Health Board Wellness Grant for healthy eating at the Community Cupboard and were able to offer a four-week basic cooking program with some of the clients during the spring.

Overall, Cavan said, it’s been a positive experience. She said they’ve received a lot of good feedback from the project and are hoping to expand next year.

“A lot of people love to come by to visit,” she said. “I think it just makes people feel happy to see the garden. It’s a hopeful thing.”

Pat Stearns said the members of their church enjoyed taking part and took pride watering and weeding the beds.

She said the people who come to the cupboard were appreciative of the vegetables too.

“They’ve really enjoyed having the fresh vegetables. They don’t take long to go.”

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